Larry Summers and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls to Co-Chair New Group Focused on Developing Solutions to Spur Middle-Class Growth
Washington, D.C. – As President Obama addressed the nation about the importance of growing our economy from the middle-out, a new Center for American Progress commission co-chaired by former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls convened for the first time today to examine how globalization, the information technology revolution, and dramatically changing demography are contributing to increasing economic inequality in developed nations. The transatlantic commission on inclusive prosperity will be comprised of high-level American and international policymakers, economists, business leaders, and labor representatives.
“As many developed countries continue to experience downward pressure on wages for the middle class, it is absolutely essential we bring together the brightest minds to develop solutions to achieve more broadly shared prosperity,” said Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress. “The Center for American Progress is thrilled to gather this dynamic group of renowned thought leaders to chart a road map that addresses the epidemic of increasing inequality and inadequate job creation now and in the future.”
The commission will meet in person three times over the next year, with the first gathering set to take place in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, July 24. At their meetings, the commission will discuss new research and evaluate existing analysis, review case studies, and hear expert testimony from specialists in the public and private sector. The group will be tasked to produce a robust set of policy proposals to establish sustainable and inclusive prosperity over the long term in developed economies, with a specific focus on creating good middle-class jobs.
“For the past 30 years, middle-class wages have stagnated and too many families in developed economies have fallen further and further behind resulting from the failed theory of trickle-down economics,” said Summers. “As we consider what can be done to fuel more broadly shared prosperity, we must realize the world now faces a different set of challenges than those of just a generation ago. Globalization, rapidly advancing technology, and shifts in demography are contributing to increased inequality both in America and around the world. I look forward to working with Shadow Chancellor Balls, our fellow commissioners, and CAP to develop solutions that will address these challenges, spur economic growth, and strengthen the middle class.”
“With living standards falling year on year for ordinary families, and conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic trying to protect the privileges of a wealthy few, the challenge for progressive politics is to raise the living standards of the great majority of our citizens,” said Balls. “I am pleased to be working again with Larry Summers on the radical reforms we need to create more good jobs especially for young people, raise skills, reform finance, and support innovation. I am looking forward to working with CAP and my fellow commissioners on this critical project to promote an ‘inclusive prosperity’ that works for the many and not just a few.”
Members of the Inclusive Prosperity Commission
- Larry Summers, Co-Chair – Former Secretary of the Treasury during the Clinton administration and President Obama’s Director of the National Economic Council from 2009 to 2011. He is currently the Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University.
- Ed Balls, Co-Chair – First elected in 2005, Ed Balls currently serves as the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and as a Labour Member of Parliament for Morley and Outwood. He previously served as chief economic adviser to the HM Treasury from 1997 to 2004. Ed has been a teaching fellow in the Department of Economics at Harvard University and a columnist for the Financial Times, Guardian, New Statesman, and Tribune.
- E.J. Dionne, Jr. – E.J. Dionne is a Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution and a Washington Post columnist. At Brookings, he researches and writes on a range of issues that include elections; polling; the role of media in politics; and the role of religion in public life. His most recent book is titled, Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent.
- Ezekiel (Zeke) J. Emanuel – Ezekiel J. Emanuel is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and the vice provost for global initiatives, the Diane S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor, and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Jennifer M. Granholm – Jennifer Granholm served as Governor of Michigan from 2002 to 2008. As Governor, she worked to diversify the state’s economy, strengthen its auto industry, preserve the manufacturing sector and focus on clean energy. She is currently a Distinguished Practitioner of Law and Public Policy at UC Berkeley’s School of Law and Goldman School of Public Policy.
- Mary Kay Henry – Mary Kay Henry serves as International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the fastest-growing union in North America, with 2.1 million workers in healthcare, public and property services. She was unanimously elected President in 2010 and became the first woman to lead SEIU.
- Glenn Hutchins – Glenn Hutchins is co-founder of Silver Lake, which is one of the world’s largest firms investing in technology and technology-enabled businesses. Hutchins served President Clinton in both the transition and the White House as a special advisor on economic and health-care policy. He is also a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Vice Chairman of the Brookings Institution.
- Lawrence F. Katz – Lawrence Katz is the Elisabeth Allison Professor of Economics at Harvard University and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research focuses on issues in labor economics and the economics of social problems.
- Chris Keates – Chris Keates is general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT). Chris held a number of elected offices within the NASUWT prior to joining the staff of the Union in 1998 when she was appointed an Assistant Secretary with responsibility for coordinating the development and implementation of Union policy. NASUWT is the largest teachers’ union in the UK and is one of the ten largest affiliated to the TUC.
- Edward Montgomery – Edward Montgomery has served as the Dean of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI) since 2010. Prior to joining GPPI he served on President Obama’s Auto Task Force as Executive Director of the White House Council for Auto Communities and Workers. From 2003 to 2008 he served as the Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland where he had been on the Economics Department faculty since 1990. He also worked in the Clinton administration as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Pär Nuder – Pär Nuder served as the Minister of Finance of Sweden from 2004-2006. Prior to that he served as Minister of Culture, Minister for Policy Coordination and served as State Secretary and Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Göran Persson. He is currently a Senior Director of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, where he advises clients on global financial trends and provides strategic advice to clients entering the European market.
- John Podesta – John Podesta is Chair of the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Prior to founding the Center in 2003, Podesta served as White House chief of staff to President Clinton. Podesta also served as co-chair of President Barack Obama’s transition.
- Steve Rattner – Steve Rattner is Chairman of Willett Advisors LLC, the investment arm for New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s personal and philanthropic assets. Previously, he served as Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury and led the Obama Administration’s successful effort to restructure the automobile industry. He was a co-founding principal of the Quadrangle Group, a global private equity firm specializing in the media and communications industries. Mr. Rattner spent two decades as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, and Lazard Freres & Co., where he became Deputy Chairman and Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
- Judith Rodin – Judith Rodin is the President of the Rockefeller Foundation. She previously served as president of the University of Pennsylvania and provost of Yale University. Dr. Rodin serves as a member of the board for several leading corporations and non-profits including Citigroup, AMR Corporation, Comcast, and the White House Council for Community Solutions.
- David Sainsbury – David Sainsbury is the Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, a Labour Party Member of the House of Lords, and the author of Progressive Capitalism: How to Achieve Economic Growth, Liberty, and Social Justice. He has served as the Chairman of Sainsbury’s and was the UK Minister for Science and Innovation from 1998 to 2006.
- Olaf Scholz – Olaf Scholz has served as Mayor of Hamburg, Germany since March 2011. Scholz is a long-time Social Democratic Party (SPD) politician and from 2002 to 2004, he served as General Secretary of the SPD during the government of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.
- Neera Tanden – Neera Tanden is the President of the Center for American Progress and Counselor to the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Tanden has served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, was the director of domestic policy for the Obama-Biden campaign, and policy director for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.
- John Van Reenen – John Van Reenen is a Professor in the Department of Economics at the London School of Economics and serves as Director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics. John also serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Industrial Economics.